Knowing he was going to lose half of his team to graduation at the end of last season, Westhampton Beach girls tennis head coach John Czartosieski kept 14 players up on varsity so that the ones who were returning this season had the experience they would need.
That decision seems to be paying dividends early on this season, as the Lady Hurricanes are off to a roaring 2-0 start in League VII play, 5-0 overall.
“Even those girls who weren’t starters were able to get that experience by not only being there for a county, but a Long Island Championship as well, and I think in their mind, they want to keep up the success that we’ve had here and they want to repeat,” Czartosieski explained.
The Lady Canes, most recently, took care of Shoreham/Wading River, 7-0, on Monday, but their biggest wins of the season came against Half Hollow Hills East on September 10 and Islip in the season opener on September 3, both non-league contests. Both Hills East and Islip were just a couple of the teams that were expected to challenge Westhampton Beach for its Suffolk County and Long Island titles this season, but the Lady Canes were able to beat both.
The victory over Hills East was specifically impressive, being that the Lady Canes only lost one match at third doubles, which went to three sets, and the fact that Hills East perennially has a strong team. Rose Hayes, who is looking strong in defending her individual county title this season, defeated Alexis Huber, 6-0, 6-1, at first singles; in fact all of the Lady Canes’ singles players won in two sets. Katelyn Stabile defeated Melissa Chen, 6-1, 6-1, Rose Peruso defeated Emma Sarner, 6-2, 7-5, and Julia Stabile defeated Victoria Czoch, 6-2, 7-5.
Czartosieski said it’s probably been at least 10 years since one of his teams defeated Hills East.
“I don’t care what anyone says, ‘Oh, Hills East isn’t the same team this year.’ Any time you beat Hills East, you have to celebrate it, because it doesn’t happen very often,” he said.
Westhampton Beach hosted Southampton on Wednesday and is expected to play at William Floyd this Friday at 4 p.m. before its next stiffest test at Ward Melville in a non-league match on Monday, September 23, at 4 p.m.